So far January has been good to us, and we’ve seen a lot of brands pulling out the stops to bring us some new and exciting products. Looks like 2024 is going to be a big one in the world of heritage fashion.
Caswell Boot Co
For the very first time ever, Caswell Boot Co is offering one of their hand-welted models, the Garrett, on a ready-to-wear basis. Typically it would take 7-9 weeks to produce such a boot, but for a limited time only these will be available for immediate purchase.
At first glance it’s apparent that the Garrett boot has a handsome design, with its brogue cap toe, antique brass hardware and subtle service boot aesthetics. The Garrett is made in Indonesia, which is a region well known for its skilled artisan bootmakers. In the world of heritage boots, Indonesia has become synonymous with high quality, handmade footwear.
The Garrett boot is hand-welted, using a 270 degree double-row flat welt. Built on the Morris last, the Garrett is fully lined, with four eyelets, three speed hooks, a gusseted tongue and something many are bound to find appealing – an unstructured toe box.
The Garrett boot contains all of the hallmarks that make a hand-welted boot desirable, with a leather insole, heel counter and midsole. The boot stands upon a Dr. Sole #1140 Supergrip 2 half sole with matching heel pad.
Then there’s the leather: the Gallun Big Sky Natural Calf. A pure aniline leather with a natural base color, this leather has a light golden-tan color that’s likely to darken in time with wear. This special calfskin gains its unique texture to its semi-chrome tannage and application of emulsified rolled wax.
The Garrett boot has a sleek silhouette that’s also classic and extremely versatile. It’s something that’s elegant enough to be dressed up and worn under trousers, but also would look right at home scuffed up with a pair of faded denim.
A new spin on an old, very much loved classic, the White’s 350 Cutter. This time the brand chose to offer it with some slightly different construction details that set it apart from its predecessor.
First and most obvious of these changes would be the wedge sole vs the standard rubber outsole with leather heel stack. White’s opted for the Vibram Christy wedge sole using a construction method that isn’t very common.
What White’s did on this model of the 350 Cutter is use what’s called a “Lineman’s Shank”. It’s essentially an additional midsole that only extends half the length of the boot, from its heel to its waist. This can be done for a multitude of reasons, including added rigidity and stability. In this case, the boot is secured to its midsole using its typical stitchdown construction, with the inner row extending a full 360 degrees. Although it may not be necessary, this method only adds to the boots strength and dexterity.
The 350LTT-CS is built on the 55 Arch-Ease last and is currently being offered in a variety of different leathers from the Seidel Tannery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You’ll find options like Red Dog roughout, Cinnamon Waxed Flesh, Double Shot and others.
Whites is a brand known for making tough, rugged looking boots, and this case is no different. It’s something that would look good paired with some straight leg selvedge jeans, chinos or any kind of work-inspired fashion pieces.
Viberg has just kicked off their Spring/Summer ’24 collection with their first big January drop. In this drop you’ll find a slew of selections in different lasts and leathers and several in Charles F. Stead’s Waxy Commander leather.
Out of those choices, we’re going to focus on the 1035 model, a six inch service boot design with a plain toe and eight antique brass eyelets. Like most Vibergs, this 1035 is built using a 270 degree Stitchdown construction, with a leather midsole, insole, heel counter and toe puff, along with cork filling and cedar shank. It’s then bottomed using a full leather heel stack and Dainite rubber studded outsole.
The 1035’s upper is made using C.F. Stead’s Waxy Commander leather, a suede that’s treated with a combination of oils and waxes. The leather behaves similar to waxed flesh to a degree, so you’ll start to see areas of nap and variation with wear. The leather is also rugged, water resistant and highly durable, contrary to what most people believe suede to be.
Although there’s one feature, or rather lack thereof, that really stands out to me, and that’s the fact that the boot is unlined in its shaft. This alone is not uncommon, although with suede it’s extremely rare. Suede typically needs to be backed with a liner, since it inherently lacks structure. This just goes to show how sturdy this Waxy Commander leather is.
The 1035’s silhouette is sleek, featuring a wide toe-box with a low profile. This particular leather has an appearance that’s purely casual and is something that will age to look rugged and distressed. They would look great paired with some dark indigo denim or a pair of olive green chinos.
Nicks Handmade Boots
Nicks is releasing two new and very unique leather offerings from a legendary American tannery known for producing some of the world’s best vegetable tanned leathers, Wickett & Craig. Nicks has been working with the tannery over the last several years to produce a variety of leathers for their heritage line.
This special kind of leather they call “Double Stuff” is made exclusively for Nicks Boots. It’s stuffed full of oils and waxes during the tanning process, giving in a remarkable amount of flexibility, pull-up and of course – its name
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Currently Nicks is offering these two Wickett & Craig Double Stuff leathers on two different boot models. You can choose from either the Falcon in Crimson or from the Robert in Cobalt. As of now they’re being offered as is and for a limited time only, making this a great opportunity to own this rare and bold leather.
Styling boots like these definitely requires a special touch and an eye for colors. When wearing boots of color, it’s usually best to keep the rest of the outfit solid and simple. Either of these boots would pair well with dark indigo or even black jeans, with a solid top.
When it comes to heavyweight flannels, it doesn’t get any better than Iron Heart. The brand is known for their ultra heavy fabrics, or UHF, as well as their excellent finishing and superb fits.
The UHF Blanket Check Work Shirt is undoubtedly a flannel unlike any you’ve ever seen before. For the very first time the brand has used the very same black over-dye used on their heavyweight indigo x black denim, submerging the entire shirt.
This process both darkens and subdues the original underlying colors by bathing them in sulfur black. The charred appearance is designed to lighten over time, slowly revealing the colors underneath. The result is an inevitable range of highs and lows that come with your specific wear patterns and a flannel with a patina like no other.
Iron Heart is offering their Heavyweight Overdye flannel in both a Work Shirt and Western design. The flannels are made in Japan from 12oz 100% Aspero cotton, single brushed on its face and double brushed on its interior.
In all transparency this isn’t a “new” release, but it’s rather a re-run of a desirable pair of jeans that’s definitely worth mentioning. Gustin is a direct-to-consumer brand that utilizes crowd-sourcing to gather the resources to manufacture their products.
Now, allow me to explain why I believe The 1968 from Gustin deserves a mention. First and foremost is the fabric, a dead-stock denim from the iconic White Oak Cone Mills. The 1968 selvedge fabric is legendary and could be considered the epitome of American denim, made from 13.5oz 100% Cotton with a rich indigo warp and classic white weft.
Ever since the closure of North Carolina’s White Oak Cone Mills plant in 2018, there’s been an ebb and flow to the availability of fabrics it once produced. Hence why we’ve seen The 1968 from Gustin come and go as well and one day will be no more.
Not only is Gustin able to offer you this iconic fabric from the White Oak Cone Mills, but they’re able to do so at an outstanding price. On top of that, the jeans are made in America and offered in skinny, slim, and straight sizes.
Truman Boot Co
The Dark Coyote Roughout makes its return to Truman’s lineup once again. I’m fairly certain this is the third time within the last year that the brand has offered this leather due to its increasing popularity.
Built in true Truman style, on the 79 last with five eyelets, two speed hooks, a 270 degree flat welt, Truman’s recessed lug outsole, and of course – a cap toe. This design layout is popular to the brand and for good reason: it suits its overall aesthetic very well.
There are some things that stand out as unique to this pair, one of them is the white stitching used throughout. It’s an interesting detail that really makes every line pop against the shade of Dark Coyote. Another thing is its Honey Lug sole, something that’s only currently being offered on this boot.
The Dark Coyote leather itself is tanned to a standard known as “Military Spec”, which means it’s intended to meet the specifications for military use and combat applications. Gone are the days of raw roughout and dubbin wax, this leather is treated to withstand the most adverse conditions while requiring little to no care whatsoever.
The Dark Coyote Roughout is the kind of boot that will look neat and pretty out of the box, and in years will develop a rugged appearance and deep, matted patina that expresses its history.
It’s an excellent choice for anyone in the market for an American made pair of roughout boots, and something I’m certain many Truman Boot collectors will love. The Dark Coyote Roughout can match easily with a wide variety of earth tones or even black, and it would pair great with denim and a flannel, or even tan chinos and a black Henley.
See You Next Week
I look forward to seeing what the month of February will bring. I know we can expect to see some new releases from some of the above brands as well as others. So just keep letting me do the homework and come by next week to see what’s new.